Rick Pitino Celtic failure


Humility is what makes teams great. I’ve preached it for a long period of time.” – Rick Pitino

It wasn’t always thus. It took failure to get there. As March Madness ‘bracketology’ preoccupies American basketball fans, defending champion Louisville made it into the revered “Sweet Sixteen” quarterfinals this weekend. Led by renowned coach Rick Pitino, his march to success of late embraced plenty of failure recounted in a recent Boston Globe piece “Rick Pitino fondly recalls Celtics years” (thanks Dad)…

  • “Although Pitino’s years with the Celtics are viewed as an abject failure for the organization and coach, one the Celtics would not recover from for a half-decade, Pitino considers that period as one that humbled him and prepared him for the success he now enjoys at Louisville… ‘I think it sort of defined me in the end because there [were] probably two things missing in my life as a coach. One was humility and the other one was failure. We took over a 15-win team before we got there and I banked everything on getting Tim Duncan [in the draft]. And when that didn’t happen, you failed them. But I left there understanding that there’s nothing wrong with failure if you learned the lesson of why you failed, and the other thing is it taught me great humility of why you win and why you lose. I think I wouldn’t be complete today if I didn’t learn that. To me, Boston was, although it wasn’t the success stories of all the other programs, it was probably the most lessons learned in my life. To me, it was a great experience…You pick yourself up, you don’t blame anybody and you don’t point any fingers and you say ‘OK, what can you do better this time around?’ and that’s exactly what I did. For about a couple of months, I blamed the Ping-Pong balls, I blamed it being on unlucky, I blamed it on everything but the truth. The [fact of the] matter is I didn’t do a good enough job as an executive.”